HOUSTON – Regency Centers Corp, of Jacksonville, Fla. has made a bid to acquire Houston-based AmReit for $22 per share or $433 million. Both REITs have significant retail center portfolios.
In a press release issued Thursday, Regency published its letter to H. Kerr Taylor, AmREIT’s chairman and CEO.
“We are making this letter public because we feel that the potential benefits of a combination are just too great to ignore,” said Hap Stein, Regency’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We believe that there is a strong strategic, financial and operational rationale for the combination of Regency and AmREIT. We are confident that this transaction is in the best interests of both companies’ shareholders and have a great interest in moving forward toward the negotiation of final terms and documentation. Importantly, we are willing to offer either cash or stock consideration, or a combination of the two, such that AmREIT shareholders could receive immediate and certain value for their shares and/or the opportunity to participate in the combined company’s upside potential. In addition, we are willing to consider improving our offer if the company information we have asked to review demonstrates additional value, particularly in relation to AmREIT’s pending and prospective densification projects.”
AmReit’s most significant “densification” project is its ongoing $1.2 billion plan to redevelop the 17-acre Uptown Park, a European-style shopping center on the west side of Loop 610 at Post Oak Boulevard not far from the Galleria in Houston’s Uptown area.
The first part of the redevelopment effort will be the demolition of a building occupied by several retailers, and replacing it with a high-rise residential tower atop 20,000 sf of retail.
In morning trading, AmReit’s stock was trading at $21.73, up 13 percent.
Regency owns approximately 4.2% of AmREIT’s outstanding common stock. Regency’s portfolio of 332 retail properties encompasses over 43.9 million square feet.